THE MUSEUM OF HISTORY, CULTURE AND CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY FROM LOWER DANUBE (THE EPISCOPAL PALACE)

           Constructed between 1897-1900, after the plans of the architect Toma Dobrescu, the Palace had 30 rooms, an attic, cellars and fireplaces which used wood. The rich garden had numerous fruit trees from different species, a vineyard, and trees from the East and acclimated here. Between 1965 and 2014 it functioned as the Museum of Visual Art.

            The Episcopal Palace is an imposing building, with a long front and two perpendicular wings, forming a Greek π. The office of the bishop was placed on the ground floor together with a reception salon, a big living room for official dinners and another living room, the bishop’s living room with its annexes, but also the palace’s kitchen with pantries for aliments. Near the office there was a long hallway, which belongs to the principal entrance door and to the honor stairs, with stairs made out of marble with makes the connection to the floor. On the right of the hallway, there were the offices for the counsellor parents, a meeting room, the offices of the officials of the Episcopal office and the Consistory room. There were also working rooms and exits to the yard.

            The floor was divided in three parts: on the left there were rooms for the guests, a hallway, and then the bedrooms, salons, and a big dining room, all reserved for the royal family; on the right there were the residence of the Archimandrite of the chair and rooms for the guests. On the semi-basement, there was the house of the gardener and chef, but also the room in which the bishop’s nephew were living. The building was deteriorated after the earthquake of 1940, but the bishop Chesarie Paunescu succeeded in getting funds and in consolidating it for the next two years. Since 2014 it has become the Museum of History, Culture and Christian Spirituality from Lower Danube, through European funds. In the museum there are organized numerous exhibits of icons, old books, art, ethnography (popular outfits from Galati-Braila zone, items from the traditional peasant household), there are being organized restoration ateliers and educational programs for children.

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